Ross Atkins’ interview with Ben Wagner featured news on Pearson + Future Moves + Getting Prospect Ready

During the fourth inning, Ross Atkins joined Ben Wagner on the Fan 590. Here are some notable points that I took away from that conversation.

Off-season efficiency:
When asked about how fast the off season was going post-lockout, Aktins mentioned that he was impressed with how ready every team was. He noted that had the Oakland A’s not been ready coming out of the lockout, the deal for Matt Chapman wouldn’t have happened. 
Unlike prior off-seasons where it would take days to get back to the Blue Jays, it took mere hours to get back to the Jays. Atkins called it more efficient as teams met deadlines and there was much less posturing.
When asked about how big the team is to orchestrate signings and trades, Atkins noted how much better the team has been connected since the pandemic started. It allowed the front office to be more creative as each person was thinking aloud. He jokes that it’s never easy to finalize the move.
Matt Chapman and getting the prospects ready:
When pressed about Matt Chapman and how much better he makes the team, Ross Atkins said “[Chapman] is fun”, but also mentioned how optimistic the team is about his bat. This segued into speaking about prospects such as Orelvis Martinez (yes I spelled his name right this time) and Jordan Groshans.
To answer Wagner’s question, Atkins said: “you never wanna rely too heavily on transitioning potentially t …

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Author: Brennan Delaney / Blue Jays Nation

The Kirill Semyonov situation might be good for the player, but not ideal for the Leafs

Whenever we write about the Leafs losing a fourth liner or potential fourth line player, I have the same voice in the back of my head reminding not to make too big a deal out of it. That voice is generally right. The Leafs decision to cut ties with Semyonov and allow him to return to the KHL where a better contract, better ice time, and a life in his home nation is one that you can’t really find much fault in, and at the end of the day you’re probably not going to have a lot of difficulty tracking down some 5th and 6th center depth by the time you need it, so perhaps I just need to chill out on Semyonov. That’s good advice.

Semyonov had no interest in going back to the Marlies, resulting in the contract termination. #Leafs
— Terry Koshan (@koshtorontosun) December 1, 2021

Still, I feel that the 30 minute NHL career of Kirill Semyonov deserves a little reflection. Arguably he was brought in when he was because he was the safety net of the Leafs adding someone who could play a regular shift with Ilya Mikheyev in a third line shutdown setting. When the …

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Author: Jon Steitzer / The Leafs Nation

Raptors: Scottie Barnes wanting to play in Toronto is perfection

Raptors: Scottie Barnes wanting to play in Toronto is perfection

Since being drafted fourth overall by the Toronto Raptors, Scottie Barnes might be batting 1.000. The numbers in Summer League were great. The physical tools and videos of his distractive defensive ability have Raptors fans wondering how opposing teams are ever going to score in the triple digits. He’s proven that his winning qualities go […]
Raptors: Scottie Barnes wanting to play in Toronto is perfection – Raptors Rapture – Raptors Rapture – A Toronto Raptors Fan Site – News, Blogs, Opinion and More

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Author: Avishai Sol / Raptors HQ

The Blue Jays have submitted an application to the Canadian federal government to return to Toronto for July 30

Is there a better way to celebrate the Fourth of July than seeing a report that the Blue Jays might be coming back to Canada by the end of the month?

Yesterday, a Twitter account called BLUEJAYS HOTSTOVE posted that the team is working to come back to the Rogers Centre with fans for July 30, which would be the beginning of a 10-game homestand against Kansas City, Cleveland, and Boston.

Interesting bit of news to share…
Blue Jays are working to have the team return to Toronto to play WITH FANS for the July 30th game. The plan should get the green light from all levels of government.
— BLUEJAYS HOTSTOVE (@bluejayhotstove) July 4, 2021

The Blue Jays have committed to playing in Buffalo through July 21. After that six-game homestand, the team will hit the road to New York to play the Mets and Boston to face the Red Sox. After that, though, they haven’t yet determined where they’ll play.
Later in the day, Shi Davidi reported at Sportsnet that the Blue Jays have submitted an application to the Canadian federal government to return to Toronto. Davidi went on to say that the proposal has already received the green light at …

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Author: Cam Lewis / Blue Jays Nation

Toronto Six re-signs Taylor Woods

The Toronto Six have added a fourth player to their next season roster: Taylor Woods!
“A lethal force to opponents on the blue line, she helped Toronto in their run toward the top of the standings. Woods was among the Founding Five players who signed with the Six for their inaugural 2020-21 season. Joining her was Emma Greco, Shiann Darkangelo, Kristen Barbara and Elaine Chuli.”
Woods is excited to be back in Toronto, and even more so to have fans in the stands.
“Missing the game day atmosphere, Woods can’t wait to have fans back in the stands for Season seven. “I can just picture it now. Coming out of the locker room, seeing all the T6 jerseys, doors open and we’re ready. Then they hear our name getting called, music coming on, and we just blast out that door with all the fans around. That’s the vision in my mind. That’s the image. Just the energy, the impact that we’re going to have on the hockey community and in women’s sports, too. All that I think about when it comes to Season seven is that door and us exploding out onto the ice.”

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Author: Mer / The Leafs Nation

Ian Scott is the Leafs 15th ranked prospect

Ian Scott was selected by the Toronto Maple Leafs in the fourth round of the 2017 NHL Entry Draft, the last draft with Scouting Guru (citation needed) Mark Hunter at the helm. Scott spent his entire WHL career with the Prince Albert Raiders, who selected him ninth overall in the 2014 WHL Bantam Draft, making him the highest goalie selected since the Tri-City Americans took Carey Price seventh in 2002.
At the time he was selected, Scott was coming off his first season as a WHL starting goaltender. In 50 games behind a hapless Raiders team, Scott went 12-31-3 with an .895 save percentage and two shutouts. Nothing eye-popping, but solid enough numbers for a goaltender shouldering a starter’s workload for the first time behind a bottom-three team. His stats coupled with his physical attributes and raw potential saw Scott named the third ranked North American goaltender by NHL Central Scouting entering the 2017 draft, where the Leafs made him the 11th goaltender selected at 110th overall. He signed his entry-level contract on December 14th, 2018.
Rank – Grade – NHL Readiness
15th — C — two-four yrs
Position: Goaltender
Age: 21
Height: 6’4”
Weight: 181 lbs
Drafted: 2017, Fourth round, 110th overall
What Kind of Player Is He?

So far in his …

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Author: Brian Reid / The Leafs Nation

Toronto Raptors: Let’s review all 3 years of LeBron James in LeBronto era

After winning his fourth championship in more of a floor general role, it’s time to review each series the Toronto Raptors and LeBron James battled against each other and see the various styles LeBron had. Whether you like him or not, there is no arguing that LeBron James is one of the greatest players the […]
Toronto Raptors: Let’s review all 3 years of LeBron James in LeBronto era – Raptors Rapture – Raptors Rapture – A Toronto Raptors Fan Site – News, Blogs, Opinion and More

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Author: Alexandro Fidanza / Raptors HQ

NHL announcement on second phase of return to play expected by end of week

A report from The Fourth Period’s David Pagnotta and Dennis Bernstein states that the National Hockey League is expected to make an announcement in regards to the second phase of its return to play plan.

The announcement, Pagnotta said, is expected to include details on the activation of that second phase.

The NHL is expected to make an announcement by the end of the week with details on the activation of Phase 2, league sources tell @DennisTFP and I.
— David Pagnotta (@TheFourthPeriod) June 3, 2020

The second phase includes the opening of practice rinks for small, voluntary group workouts on and off the ice involving no more than six players. They will be expected to maintain physical distancing at all times.
Surgical or non-surgical face masks will be expected to be worn at all times other than while exercising.
In late May, the league released the details of their return to play plan that included information on:

Travel to the Club’s Home City
Testing for Infection and Antibodies
Temperature/Symptom Check
Education Session
Pre-Participation Medical Evaluation
Symptomatic Persons During Phase 2
Permitted Activities
Permitted Personnel
Social Distancing, PPE, and Other Safety Measures
Personal Safety Precautions
Cleaning and Disinfecting
Activities …

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Author: Zach Laing / The Leafs Nation

Toronto Raptors: Top five performances from perfect Week 16

Week 16 saw the Toronto Raptors post a fourth straight week without a loss, injuries unable to slow the champs down. With players needing to step up, who made the top five performances list this week? Another week, another perfect record. This seems to be the norm these days for the Toronto Raptors, as they […]
Toronto Raptors: Top five performances from perfect Week 16 – Raptors Rapture – Raptors Rapture – A Toronto Raptors Fan Site – News, Blogs, Opinion and More

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Author: Aditya Chandran / Raptors HQ

We’re Done Here, Right?

The Toronto Maple Leafs sit fourth in the Atlantic Divison at the moment. Their power play and penalty kill, both led by assistant coaches who were brought in this summer, rank in the bottom third of the league, respectively, while their odds at qualifying for the playoffs languish at precisely 33.4% prior to Saturday night, according to MoneyPuck.
I’m not going to pretend to know how those odds are actually calculated. But that seems bad, right?
It’s not merely that the Leafs have been bad thus far, though. In fact, “bad” would be fine. “Bad” is a hiccup, a temporary wrinkle that can be ironed out with a few players-only meetings and even more “pucks in deep”.
Contenders have been bad before. Ask any hockey boomer alive and they’ll spit out their dentures to tell you that “The St. Louis Blues were in last place on January 1st and look what happened!”
These Leafs aren’t bad. No, their issues lie far deeper than that, festering at their very foundation. What these Leafs are is broken. Their roster is infected, and since the night of April 23rd, 2019, their only treatment has been to amputate every body part but …

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Author: Mike Stephens / The Leafs Nation